are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
MOST [Management of Social Transformations] is an
international programme established by UNESCO in early 1994 to
promote policy-relevant social science research and to ensure
the wide dissemination of the results of such work to a wide range
of end-users including key decision-makers, different communities
and social groups and representatives of civil society.
MOST attaches the highest priority to the maintenance
of high standards of integrity, responsibility and accountability
in the research it supports. This applies to all aspects of that
research from collection, recording, citing and reporting to the
retention of scientific material.
As MOST fosters international, interdisciplinary,
comparative and policy-relevant social science research, network
and research activities will take place in many parts of the world,
and within a variety of economic, cultural, legal and political
settings. Researchers may therefore inevitably face ethical,
sometimes legal, dilemmas from competing obligations and conflicts
For the most part, researchers will be aware of the
potential difficulties arising from their work. However, MOST
is concerned to draw the attention of all researchers to certain
areas in which conflicts between ethical principles and aims of
the research might arise, and to stress the need for their resolution.
Therefore, a set of Ethical Guidelines has been developed
to provide a framework to guide research practice. They are intended
to act as signposts rather than detailed prescriptions or regulations.
They are not intended to be a substitute for the scientific and
professional judgement of the individual researcher.
MOST encourages the participating institutions and networks to develop policies and promote information sessions for awareness-raising concerning ethical issues in social research.
Researchers should be fully aware of the ethical
issues involved in their work and adhere to the following basic
for all procedures and ethical issues related to the project rests
with the principal investigators.
should be conducted in such a way that the integrity of the research
enterprise is maintained, and negative after-effects which might
diminish the potential for future research should be avoided.
3 The choice
of research issues should be based on the best scientific judgement
and on an assessment of the potential benefit to the participants
and society in relation to the risk to be borne by the participants.
Studies should relate to an important intellectual issue.
4 The researcher
should consider the effects of his/her work, including the consequences
or misuse, both for the individuals and groups among whom they
do their fieldwork, and for their colleagues and for the wider
5 The researcher should be aware of any potential harmful effects; in such circumstances, the chosen method should be used only if no alternative methods can be found after consultation with colleagues and other experts. Full justification for the method chosen should be given.
6 The research
should be conducted in a competent fashion, as an objective scientific
project and without bias. All research personnel should be qualified
to use all of the procedures employed by them.
7 The research
should be carried out in full compliance with, and awareness of,
local customs, standards, laws and regulations.
8 All researchers
should be familiar with, and respect, the host culture. Researchers
undertaking research on cultures, countries and ethnic groups
other than their own should make their research objectives particularly
clear and remain aware of the concerns and welfare of the individuals
or communities to be studied.
9 The principal
investigators' own ethical principles should be made clear to
all those involved in the research to allow informed collaboration
with other researchers. Potential conflicts should be resolved
before the research begins.
10 The research
should avoid undue intrusion into the lives of the individuals
or communities they study. The welfare of the informants should
have the highest priority; their dignity, privacy and interests
should be protected at all times.
given informed consent should be obtained from all human subjects.
Potential participants should be informed, in a manner and in
language they can understand, of the context, purpose, nature,
methods, procedures, and sponsors of the research. Research teams
should be identified and contactable during and after the research
should be no coercion. Participants should be fully informed
of their right to refuse, and to withdraw at any time during the
participants should be protected against any and all potentially
harmful effects and should be informed of any potential consequences
of their participation.
confidentiality of all information and the anonymity of participants
should be maintained. Participants should be informed of any potential
limitations to the confidentiality of any information supplied.
Procedures should be put in place to protect the confidentiality
of information and the anonymity of the participants in all research
should be offered access to research results, presented in a manner
and language they can understand.
16 All research
should be reported widely, with objectivity and integrity.
should provide adequate information in all publications and to
colleagues to permit their methods and findings to be properly
assessed. Limits of reliability and applicability should be made
are responsible for properly acknowledging the unpublished as
well as published work of other scholars.
19 All research
materials should be preserved in a manner that respects the agreements
made with participants.
The Guidelines form part of the agreement with all research leaders in MOST projects. Any potential departure from the principles of these Guidelines should therefore be highlighted in project proposals and fully justified. Allegations of misconduct in research will be investigated by the Scientific Steering Committee and the Secretariat of the MOST Programme.
1, rue Miollis
75732 Paris, cedex 15
Tel + 33 1 45 68 37 99
Fax + 33 1 45 68 57 24
To MOST Clearing House Homepage